Heat wave

Southern California’s been cooking, literally. I think a bunch of cities broke their temperature records this week, and wildfire season started a few months earlier than we expected. This is the price we pay for otherwise awesome Mediterranean-like climate–every once in a while, the land reminds us that we live in a desert and it acts accordingly.

What does this mean for Uniformly Dressed? It means that this week’s post is a bit behind. I attended my roommate’s wedding on Saturday (GPOY) and it’s just been too crazy hot post-work to do any real shooting for the blog. Instead, I’ve  shot a bunch of work selfies to show you what I’ve dubbed “No Pants Week.”

No pants necessary if I want to step outside the office and not broil.

Monday: INC maxi skirt (similar), old F21 tunic top tucked in.
Tuesday: IDLF x Uniqlo rayon wrap dress
Wednesday: old JCrew seersucker sundress with pockets (similar)
Thursday: Uniqlo Heattech long sleeved v-neck tee, old Gap striped mini in heavy cotton
Friday: old F21 racerback geometric print top, H&M pencil skirt with pockets

When the outside temperature forecast is 95°F (35°C, and climbing!) I decided it would be a good time to take inventory of the closet to see if I could be appropriately dressed for warm weather at the office. The verdict is…not really. I have my IDLF wrap dress, a black maxi skirt, a striped mini, and one or two work-appropriate dresses. It’s enough for the week, but in the case of the wrap dress it’s kind of a one-note look. The maxi skirt and striped mini can be paired with other tops, but they both are heavy cotton/jersey material that won’t always fly professionally. I’m lucky that our office is casual enough to let the sleeveless dress fly (and I did bring a cardigan to cover up,) but I still wanted one more piece to have more options. Enter the pencil skirt in the last shot.

I’m trying out the pencil skirt to see if I’ll incorporate it into my work life. I sit at a desk all day long and I don’t lift or have to bend or squat to do my job, but I generally choose pants because I like having free movement. However, there is something very feminine and elegant about the shape that I’d like to try. We’ll see if the skirt stays. I took a size 8 to be comfortable, and it hits me above the belly button. This is also what I was trying on in the dressing room with that questionable crop top. I always want my clothes to pull double duty–so we’ll see about that latter look for after-hours.

How do you dress for work when temperatures rise? Does your office have certain policies or a culture that you incorporate into your decisions when you choose what to wear to work?



18 thoughts on “Heat wave

  1. Our office temperature is one level all year, so i am always in some blazer or cardigan over something almost daily. However, that short walk from building to car is enough reason for me to appreciate your fashionable suggestions for season appropriate wear.

  2. I like the pencil skirt on you. Totally doable, as i the crop top. I saw that, look too. You can rock the crop. Luckily I get to work at home for a good portion of my work. But then it’s weird when I have to drive to other cities because we have varying climates outdoors, too.

    1. Thank you Gigi! I’m keeping the skirt; it’s good for work. As for the crop, I can’t test it out this week because temperatures have dropped again. So on to the next heat wave, haha!

  3. I feel your pain! It’s so hard to dress semi-formally when it’s really hot, I haven’t got it down yet. I have to walk from public transport/car parking a lot of the time and it’s just so uncomfortable haha. I usually end up wearing a dress, like a simple shirt one, or a sleeveless a-line sort of thing. I only have two work-appropriate dresses though 😦

    1. I think thinking in separates (skirts and tops) will serve us well for work. And maybe one more dress eventually. The wrap dress is a pretty good shape for me, but I also want some variability.

  4. The pencil skirt looks great on you! Actually all of them look good, the IDLF x Uniqlo dress is great. Luckily our office isn’t strict at all so I can wear my regular summer gear (fluid shorts, linen tees, lightweight dresses with leather sandals) without any problem. I always keep a cardigan at the office though, when the air conditioning is too strong. You’re getting me worried with this heat wave though, I’m due to LA for E3 in 3 weeks, I’ll need to take a serious look at weather forecast before packing.

    1. Thank you Kali. Re: LA, just keep an eye on that forecast. Weather here tends to be dry and hot, thankfully not too humid. I’d pack layers and if you’re not always cold like I am, you won’t need much more than a light jacket (our nights usually don’t get colder than the low 60s, maybe high 50s (13-15C.)

      Jeans, shorts, skirts, a light jacket, tennis shoes, sandals, and sunglasses. Maybe something sleek if you plan to hit up LA nightlife that will go with neat dark jeans (then again I’m not very well-versed in club life, hehe.)

  5. As soon as the temperatures go up, our building cranks up the AC. Ride to work in a muggy mess and then freeze all day at work. We all bring big sweaters in for the summer. Love the pencil skirt look btw.

    1. Thank you Valerie! Our weather has normalized now, so the difference outside is not as stark as before. Humidity is an additional consideration to workwear! How do you do it then?

  6. Lots of sleeveless cotton shifts in simple colors. Madewell is my favorite source–they sell really simple, work appropriate, cotton dresses in basic colors for about $90. Super flattering, I don’t have to dry clean them, they layer well, and breathe in the summer.

    1. I went in to Madewell last week and I am too short for most of their dresses! Lucky that it fits you 🙂 They unfortunately do not carry petite lengths so most of their knee-length dresses are awkward midi dresses for me. Back to the dress search!

  7. during particularly hot days in summer (especially when it gets to 100+ F… hottest this year was around 108) everyone at work looks like they are headed to the beach. thongs (that’s aussie for rubber slippers/havaianas) and even shorts are completely acceptable (unless you have client meetings) and it’s pretty normal for everyone to head to the beach during lunch hour. we have a really strong beach/surf culture here and it’s quite evident 😉

    1. Good lord, 100F is ridiculous! Open-toed shoes are a no-no at my work, though some women do try to get by with sandals…not really allowed but what can the boss do? I just stick to booties and flats to keep it safe, or lately, I’ve not really bothered to change out of my tennis shoes after my walks.

      Beach at my lunch hour would be a dream!

  8. This is equanimity under pressure. You look great, even with the heat. I just realized I don’t have a ton of spring/summer clothes. A little screwed but I’m optimistic.

    1. Thanks Joy, that’s very kind of you 🙂 Work dressing is 70% of my sartorial conundrums as I spend most of my time there.

      Still looking for fade-free good looking black work pants. Target’s ankle pants fade to a greenish black after weekly washes :/

  9. I think you look good in the pencil skirt too – I think it’s a keeper and will serve you quite well for dressing up and down. The thing is with you being relatively young, you can carry shapes like this well without looking dowdy. I do have to say, the white J Crew dress is the one which struck me first probably because of the colour and how it stands out from the rest of the outfits but I think it’s a very flattering shape for you – drawing you in at the waist and flaring back out again. This is one of the shapes I can’t do well which means that there are a lot of lovely dresses which I can’t buy (my purse thanks me). As I’ve gotten older, my middle has thickened and so the in and out shape of my younger years which worked well with these dresses, no longer work on me. You should embrace this girly shape whilst you can! I now tend to go for shift dresses as there is more room for food which doesn’t help the waistline – gosh – it’s a slippery slope!

    The first outfit seems a little heavier as you are fully covered but I like the proportions – I love the drama of maxi skirts.

    1. Thank you for your post, Sue–it made me giggle at some parts, especially the food/slippery slope bit.

      Are you sure the pencil skirts won’t work for you now? Maybe it’s just a length/proportion issue. I know they’re not the most comfortable, but they do make one look so elegant without even really trying at all.

      Re: JCrew dress, I’m so glad you like it as well! I’m really happy about the alterations on that dress. I had bought it in my heavier times (and it didn’t fit, too tight.) Then I ran and lost weight and it didn’t fit (armholes and body too loose.) I took it in to a seamstress who just nipped in the torso for very cheap ($5! no cutting though) and it fits great now and is very usable for the upcoming summer months. It makes me want to get everything tailored or at least I want to dig through my closet for something that can be rescued before I shift it over to donations.

      Re: maxi skirt–I think they’re the best invention ever. They’re like work-appropriate pajamas, so comfortable! And hides everything from food babies to unshaven legs (sorry for the mental images.)

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